1. LITERARY– a protective or concealing covering.

2. HISTORICAL – the legal status of a married woman, considered to be under her husband’s protection and authority.

Coverture came from the legal fiction that a husband and wife were one person and that upon marriage, a woman’s legal rights and obligations were subsumed by those of her husband, in accordance with the wife’s legal status as a feme covert.

The fictions was abolished by various Acts in the 1800s relating to women’s property rights.

An unmarried woman, or feme sole, had the right to own property and make contracts in her own name.